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郭国汀律师专栏
·《民族英雄蒋介石》52、共匪红军的兴起
·《民族英雄蒋介石》53、剿共匪--攘外必先安内
·《民族英雄蒋介石》54、55、56 “九一八事变”
·《民族英雄蒋介石》57 日本侵华与国联
·《民族英雄蒋介石》58 忍辱负重
·《民族英雄蒋介石》59、上海“一二八”抗战
·《民族英雄蒋介石》60、皮肉伤与心脏病
·《民族英雄蒋介石》61儒雅绅士 基督情怀
·《民族英雄蒋介石》62、国家危机和国内政治
·《民族英雄蒋介石》63、国家团结会议,蒋介石再辞职
·《民族英雄蒋介石》64日本攻占锦州,蒋介石复职
·《民族英雄蒋介石》65、国军上海一二八抗战
·《民族英雄蒋介石》66、伪满洲国成立
·《民族英雄蒋介石》67、心慈手软
·《民族英雄蒋介石》68、福建平叛
·《民族英雄蒋介石》69、剿匪
·《民族英雄蒋介石》70、西安事变
·《民族英雄蒋介石》71、七七卢沟桥事变
·《民族英雄蒋介石》72、沪淞会战
·《民族英雄蒋介石》73、悲壮的南京保卫战
·《民族英雄蒋介石》74.南京大屠杀
·《民族英雄蒋介石》75.血战台儿庄
·《民族英雄蒋介石》76 英勇的太原保卫战
***(33)《匪首毛泽东》郭国汀编译
·《匪首毛泽东》
·《匪首毛泽东》郭国汀编译
·《匪首毛泽东》2、毛泽东滥杀政敌
·《匪首毛泽东》3、共匪滥杀无辜,十万红军将士地方党干魂飞魄散
·《匪首毛泽东》5、冷血毛泽东为权力疯狂滥杀红军将士
·《匪首毛泽东》6、毛泽东周恩来诱骗张学良发动西安事变
·《匪首毛泽东》7、受苏联指令张治中挑起八一三上海抗战
·《匪首毛泽东》8、中共假抗日真勾结日寇,狠打抗日国军
·《匪首毛泽东》9、平型关战斗和百团大战
·《匪首毛泽东》10、宛南事变:毛为争权借刀杀项英
·《匪首毛泽东》11、延安洗脑运动中共种植贩卖毒品
· 《匪首毛泽东》12、发动国共内战的罪魁是毛泽东!
·《匪首毛泽东》19.极度无知而狂妄自大的毛泽东
***中国问题研究
***(34)《论中共极权专制暴政的本质》郭国汀著
·共产党极权专制暴政的变革
·论中国共产党极权暴政的滔天罪孽
·《论中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》之二
·《论中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》中共夺取政权以前的杀人罪孽
·《论中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》中共盗国窃政后的滥杀罪孽
·《论中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》中共谋杀性大饥荒
·《论中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》毛共文革罪孽深重
·《论中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》六四天安门屠城
·《中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽》中共统治西藏罪孽深重
·《郭律师论中共极权流氓暴政》郭国汀著
·共产党极权暴政为争权夺利党内自相残杀的罪恶
·论推翻中共极权专制暴政的合法性
·中共政权始终是一个非法政权 郭国汀
·驳中共政权合法论 郭国汀
·中共极权暴政是严重污染毁灭中国生态环境的罪魁祸首
·论中共政权新闻控制-----2008年《巴黎中国新闻媒体控制国际研讨会》专稿
·论中共专制暴政与酷刑(全文)
·论中共专制暴政下的宗教信仰自由(英文)
·中国共产党极权专制流氓暴政的滔天罪孽
·中共政权是一个极权专制流氓暴政
·《郭国汀评论》第十九集:论中共暴政
·《郭国汀评论》第二十集:论中共暴政(下)
·郭国汀评论:论中共政权是个超级暴政
·郭国汀评论:论中共政权是个极权暴政
·郭国汀评论:论中共政权是个流氓暴政
·郭国汀评论:论中共是个犯罪组织
·论中共的骗子本能
·《郭国汀评论》第六集中共暴政与精神病
·郭国汀评论:论中共暴政体制性司法腐败
·郭国汀评论:论中共暴政体制性司法腐败(下)
·论逼良为娼的中共律师体制
·论逼良为娼的中共律师体制(下)
· 郭律师评价中共律师诉讼及司法体制现状
·郭国汀评论第八十三集:暴政恶法不除,国民无宁日
· 郭国汀评论第八十四集:暴政恶法不除,国民无宁日(下)
·郭国汀评论第六十六集中国共产党极权暴政的滔天罪行
·郭国汀评论第六十七集:中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪孽
·郭国汀评论第六十八集:中共极权专制暴政的滔天罪行
·郭国汀评论第六十九集:中共极权流氓暴政的滔天罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十集:中共极权专制暴政的深重罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十一集:中共极权流氓暴政的深重罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十二集:中共极权流氓暴政的滔天罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十三集:中共极权流氓暴政的深重罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十四集:中共极权流氓暴政的深重罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十五集:中共极权流氓暴政的滔天大罪
·郭国汀评论第七十六集:中共极权流氓暴政的深重罪孽
·郭国汀评论第七十七集:共产党极权暴政的缩命
·郭国汀评论第七十八集:论共产党极权暴政的宿命(中)
·郭国汀评论第七十九集:论共产党极权暴政的宿命(下)
·郭国汀评论第八十集:中共极权暴政摧残教育的深重罪孽
·共产党极权专制暴政的滥杀罪孽
·中共极权暴政的野蛮残暴杀人罪孽
·中共人为制造谋杀性大饥荒虐杀农民5000万
·中国反对派不能合作的根源何在?
·共产主义是好的,只是被共产党搞糟了?
·中共极权暴政下根本不可能存在法治
·今日中共还是共产党吗?
·推翻中共专制暴政是替天行道 郭国汀
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Constitutional Interpretation

Constitutional Topic: Constitutional Interpretation
   The Constitutional Topics pages at the USConstitution.net site are presented to delve deeper into topics than can be provided on the Glossary Page or in the FAQ pages. This Topic Page concerns the various interpretations of the Constitution that have evolved over time.
   
   The Constitution is many things to many people. Undoubtedly, it is the frame work for the Government of the United States of America, defining the three branches and clearing delineating the powers of the branches. It also undoubtedly grants certain power to the federal government and grants others to the states; and it undoubtedly guarantees the basic rights of the people.

   The Constitution is short; it cannot and does not attempt to cover every eventuality. Even when it seems it is clear, there can be conflicting rights, conflicting spheres of power. When disputes arise, it comes time for people, and most importantly judges of the Judicial Branch, to interpret the Constitution. The concept of constitutional interpretation is foreign in some countries, where the constitution makes a reasonable effort to cover every eventuality. These constitutions are generally rigid and little changing, adapting slowly to advances in political views, popular opinion, technology, and changes in government. The U.S. Constitution, however, has been termed a Living Constitution, in part because it grows and adapts to internal and external pressures, changing from one era and generation to the next.
   When a new situation arises, or even a new variation on an old situation, the Constitution is often looked to for guidance. It is at this point that the various interpretations of the Constitution come into play.
   There is no one right way to interpret the Constitution, and people often do not always stick to one interpretation. Below, then, are the major divisions in interpretation; your own personal beliefs may fall into several of these categories.
   Note: the major sources for material for this section were "Constitutional Law: Cases and Commentary" by Daniel Hall, and "On Reading the Constitution" by Lawrence Tribe and Michael Dorf.
   
   Originalism, or, Original Intent
   Originalists think that the best way to interpret the Constitution is to determine how the Framers intended the Constitution to be interpreted. They look to several sources to determine this intent, including the contemporary writings of the framers, newspaper articles, the Federalist Papers, and the notes from the Constitutional Convention itself.
   Originalists consider the original intent to be the most pure way of interpreting the Constitution; the opinions of the Framers were, for the most part, well documented. If there is an unclear turn of phrase in the Constitution, who better to explain it than those who wrote it?
   Opponents of originalism note several points. First, the Constitution may have been the product of the Framers, but it was ratified by hundreds of delegates in 13 state conventions - should not the opinions of these people hold even more weight? Also, the Framers were a diverse group, and many had issues with specific parts of the Constitution. Whose opinion should be used? Next, do the opinions of a small, homogeneous group from 200 years ago have the respect of the huge, diverse population of today? To a black woman, how much trust can be placed in the thoughts of a white slave owner who's been dead for generations?
   In truth, as with all of the following interpretations, most people use originalism when it suits them. Finding a quote from a framer to support a modern position can be a powerful way to advance your point of view.
   
   Modernism/Instrumentalism
   Those who most oppose the Originalist approach often consider themselves to be modernists, or instrumentalists. A modernist approach to Constitutional interpretation looks at the Constitution as if it were ratified today. What meaning would it have today, if written today. How does modern life affect the words of the Constitution? The main argument against originalism is that the Constitution becomes stale and irrelevant to modern life if only viewed through 18th century eyes. Additionally, we have more than 200 years of history and legal precedent to look back on, and that we are modern individuals, with as much difficulty in reasonably thinking like 18th century men as those 18th century men would have had trouble thinking like us.
   Modernists also contend that the Constitution is deliberately vague in many areas, expressly to permit modern interpretations to override older ones as the Constitution ages. It is this interpretation that best embodies the Living Constitution concept: the Constitution is flexible and dynamic, changing slowly over time as the morals and beliefs of the population shift. Modernists do not reject originalism - they recognize that there is value in a historical perspective; but the contemporary needs of society outweigh an adherence to a potentially dangerously outdated angle of attack.
   Originalists feel that modernism does a disservice to the Constitution, that the people who wrote it had a pure and valid vision for the nation, and that their vision should be able to sustain us through any Constitutional question.
   
   Literalism - historical
   Historical literalists believe that the contemporary writings of the Framers are not relevant to any interpretation of the Constitution. The only thing one needs to interpret the Constitution is a literal reading of the words contained therein, with an expert knowledge in the 18th century meaning of those words. The debates leading to the final draft are not relevant, the Federalist Papers are not relevant - only the words.
   The historical literalist takes a similar look at the Constitution as an originalist does, but the literalist has no interest in expanding beyond the text for answers to questions. For example, an historical literalist will see the militia of the 2nd Amendment as referring to all able-bodied men from 17 to 45, just as in the late 18th century, and this interpretation will color that person's reading of the 2nd Amendment.
   
   Literalism - contemporary
   Very similar to an historical literalist, a contemporary literalist looks only to the words of the Constitution for guidance, but this literalist has no interest in the historical meaning of the words. The contemporary literalist looks to modern dictionaries to determine the meaning of the words of the Constitution, ignoring precedent and legal dissertation, and relying solely on the definition of the words.
   Just as the historical literalist view parallels the originalist view, but much more narrow in focus, so too does the contemporary literalist mirror the modernist; and again, the main difference is the literalist looks only to the words of the Constitution for meaning. To expand on the 2nd Amendment example, the contemporary literalist will view the militia as the modern National Guard, and this will color that person's views on the 2nd.
   
   Democratic/normative reinforcement
   Finally, the democratic interpretation is the last approach to interpretation. Democratic interpretation is also known as normative or representation reinforcement. Democratic proponents advocate that the Constitution is not designed to be a set of specific principles and guidelines, but that it was designed to be a general principle, a basic skeleton on which contemporary vision would build upon. Decisions as to the meaning of the Constitution must look at the general feeling evoked by the Constitution, then use modern realism to pad out the skeleton.
   As evidence, democrats point out that many phrases, such as "due process" and "equal protection" are deliberately vague, that the phrases are not defined in context. The guidance for interpretation must come from that basic framework that the Framers provided, but that to fill in the gaps, modern society's current morals and feelings must be taken into consideration. Changes in the Constitution that stem from this kind of philosophy will end up with principles of the population at large, while ensuring that the framers still have a say in the underlying decision or ruling. This interpretation is seen to enhance democratic ideals and the notion of republicanism.

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